Blog https://www.publiccharters.org/ en Georgia Lawmakers Approve Legislation Providing Key Funding and Resources to Charter Schools https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/06/08/georgia-lawmakers-approve-legislation-providing-key-funding-and-resources <span>Georgia Lawmakers Approve Legislation Providing Key Funding and Resources to Charter Schools</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/07/2021 - 10:40</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/tony-roberts" hreflang="en">Tony Roberts</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-06-08T12:00:00Z">June 8, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-06/Georgia%20State%20House.png?itok=6O1sgc-f" width="250" height="250" alt="Georgia State House" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span><span>The Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) led a successful policy and advocacy campaign in support of charter school funding and resource equity during the 2021 legislative session. GCSA’s work with state policymakers and local stakeholders enabled the passage of Senate Bill 59, a significant piece of charter school legislation that provides increased funding and flexibility for Georgia’s 70,000 public charter school students. The bill passed the Georgia Senate 40 to 11 and the Georgia House 113 to 51. Governor Kemp signed SB 59 earlier this month.<br />  <br /> Under the newly signed legislation, students enrolled in Georgia’s locally-approved public charter schools will receive a dedicated funding weight that increases school allocations by approximately <strong>$100 per pupil.</strong> </span></span><span><span><span><span>That’s expected to bring in nearly <strong>$3.4 million </strong>in additional funding annually for local charter schools in Georgia.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Additionally, SB 59 requires school districts to provide locally-approved charter schools their proportionate per-pupil share of federal funding. The bill also eliminates an important staff recruitment and retention issue by allowing charter schools multiple opportunities to opt into Georgia’s state health plan. Previously, state and local charter schools had only one chance to sign up for the state health plan during their first year of operation.<br />  <em> </em></span></span><br /> <span><span><span><span>State lawmakers also approved an <strong>additional $1 million</strong> in funding for charter school facilities in the state’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget, which means annual funding in Georgia's Charter School Facility Grant will now total <strong>$4.5 million.</strong> This fund will provide every charter school in Georgia approximately <strong>$50,000</strong> in grant funding to help offset facility costs in the upcoming fiscal year. </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><em>Tony Roberts is the president and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association.</em></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/state-policy" hreflang="en">state policy</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/06/08/georgia-lawmakers-approve-legislation-providing-key-funding-and-resources" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Mon, 07 Jun 2021 14:40:43 +0000 Melinda 26688 at https://www.publiccharters.org Education Priorities in Biden's First Proposed Budget https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/06/02/education-priorities-bidens-first-proposed-budget <span>Education Priorities in Biden&#039;s First Proposed Budget</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kim</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/02/2021 - 14:21</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/kim-mccabe" hreflang="en">Kim McCabe</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-06-02T12:00:00Z">June 2, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-06/White%20House%20Stock%20Photo%20%281%29.png?itok=aWRsQdhl" width="250" height="250" alt="White House Stock Photo " typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>Last week, President Biden unveiled his first presidential budget, revealing a commitment to educational equity with a historic 41 percent increase in education funding. As we emerge from a pandemic that has left millions of students struggling, this proposed increase is a bold step. He proposed big increases for a number of programs including:</span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span>$36.5 billion in proposed support for Title I schools </span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>$15.5 billion for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act </span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>$100 million to help foster diverse schools</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>$1.3 billion for the 21st Century Learning Center</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>$1 billion for a new School-Based Health Professional Program</span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span>As public schools, charter schools will benefit greatly from the administration’s support for these programs!</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong>What’s missing from the president’s budget?</strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>The president’s budget includes a request for $440 million in funding for the Charter Schools Program, which would be the same as the program is currently funded. The National Alliance—and more than 6,000 of our closest friends—asked for an increase to the Charter Schools Program to bring that number up to $500 million. For a program that is less than 1% of federal spending on K-12 education, it’s not a lot, but it would make a big difference for kids.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Without an increase in funding, there </span>will likely not be enough funding to meet the demand for new awards<span>. </span>That could mean fewer new charter schools in coming years.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Over the past year, we’ve seen demand for charter schools grow significantly as parents have had to make tough decisions about how to continue their kid’s education through the pandemic— Americans are showing that what they value in public education is more public school options.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong>What can you do?</strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>Don’t forget the power of constituent voice.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>As voters, we put members of Congress into office and those members work for us. If you don’t like the direction things are headed, letting them know about it is a good place to start.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It only takes a minute to <a href="https://act.publiccharters.org/">send an email to your members of Congress</a> (we drafted it for you!) and let them know that you stand with the families who are demanding more options for their families. </span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><em>Kim McCabe is the senior director of communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools</em>. </span></span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/congress" hreflang="en">Congress</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/charter-schools-program" hreflang="en">Charter Schools Program</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/federal-budget" hreflang="en">federal budget</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/06/02/education-priorities-bidens-first-proposed-budget" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Wed, 02 Jun 2021 18:21:16 +0000 kim 26628 at https://www.publiccharters.org Positive and Negative Charter School Legislation in the States in 2021 https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/28/positive-and-negative-charter-school-legislation-states-2021 <span>Positive and Negative Charter School Legislation in the States in 2021</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Fri, 05/28/2021 - 11:43</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/todd-ziebarth" hreflang="en">Todd Ziebarth</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-05-28T12:00:00Z">May 28, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-05/California%20State%20Capitol%20%281%29.png?itok=XAd8b8oy" width="250" height="250" alt="California State Capitol " typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>As several state legislative sessions come to a close, we continue to see solid progress in enacting positive charter school legislation across the country. However, a few troublesome bills remain alive as well.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>A few of our biggest highlights:</span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/25/silver-lining-pandemic-shines-iowa-charter-school-reform-bill-becomes-law"><strong>Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a game-changing bill</strong></a><span> that sets a high bar for opening charter schools to ensure quality, holds schools accountable, and allows applicants to apply directly to the state board of education </span></li> <li><a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/07/unlikely-bill-strengthens-wyomings-charter-school-law"><strong>Wyoming strengthened its charter school law</strong></a><span> by creating a statewide authorizer to ensure accountability and establishing a transparent application process</span></li> <li><a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/04/16/maine-families-push-against-anti-charter-school-legislation-and-win"><strong>Maine defeated an anti-charter school bill</strong></a><strong> </strong><span>that would have gutted authorizing and funding in the state</span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span><span>We also supported our local partners in <strong>New Mexico</strong> as they successfully prevented any anti-charter school policies from becoming law. For the first time in several years, they were also able to get a stand-alone charter school bill enacted into law. The bill requires each charter school to provide an enrollment preference to children of that school’s employees.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Beyond the states where the National Alliance has directly engaged, we are seeing promising progress, including in the following states:</span></span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><strong><span>Colorado </span></strong><span>increased the cap on moral obligation bonds for charter schools from $500 million to $750 million</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><strong><span>Georgia </span></strong><span>increased state funding for district-authorized charter schools and ensured districts allocate a proportionate share of federal funding to district-authorized charter schools</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><strong><span>Indiana </span></strong><span>increased its per-pupil charter school facilities allotment to $1,000 per-pupil in the first year of the budget and $1,250 per-pupil in the second year.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><strong><span>Florida </span></strong><span>and <strong>Oklahoma</strong> have positive bills continuing to move forward in state houses.</span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span>On the negative side, states that are fighting major anti-charter school bills include:</span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><strong><span>California</span></strong><span>, where we’ve seen the most damaging anti-charter school bill in the country this session. Among many harmful aspects, the bill would cut funding for non-classroom-based schools by 30%, increase the cap on authorizer oversight fees, and require a minimum number of daily instructional minutes </span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><strong><span>Colorado</span></strong><span>, where charter school supporters are fighting a bill that would gut the state’s highly effective appellate process</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><strong><span>Illinois</span></strong><span>, where supporters have their hands full with fighting multiple anti-charter school bills, including one that would prohibit charter school leaders from talking about the pros and cons of unionization with their staff members</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><strong><span>Rhode Island</span></strong><span>, where a moratorium bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House</span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span>While the momentum behind charter schools is stronger than some expected in statehouses this year, the efforts in these four states are a reminder that we always need to stay on guard for the relentless anti-charter school efforts of our opponents. They could be a harbinger for what lies ahead in the 2022 sessions.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><em><span>Todd Ziebarth is the senior vice president of state support and advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</span></em></span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/state-policy" hreflang="en">state policy</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/28/positive-and-negative-charter-school-legislation-states-2021" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Fri, 28 May 2021 15:43:08 +0000 Melinda 26487 at https://www.publiccharters.org U.S. Senate Passes Resolution to Recognize America’s Charter Schools https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/26/us-senate-passes-resolution-recognize-americas-charter-schools <span>U.S. Senate Passes Resolution to Recognize America’s Charter Schools</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/24/2021 - 14:33</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-05-26T12:00:00Z">May 26, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2018-12/Logo%20250px_0.png?itok=L9mkLvkP" width="250" height="250" alt="The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Logo" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The United States Senate passed a resolution recognizing National Charter Schools Week and “congratulating the students, parents, teachers, and leaders of charter schools across the United States for making ongoing contributions to education.” Celebrated annually in May, National Charter Schools Week highlights the more than 200,000 dedicated teachers, 3.3 million students, and 7,500 public charter schools across the nation. This year’s celebration marks the 30th anniversary of the first charter school law, which changed the future of public education and student success forever.  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><a href="https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/sres230/BILLS-117sres230ats.xml">Read the Senate’s Resolution</a> </p> <p>“Here in South Carolina and across the country, charter schools enroll more students and serve more communities every year,” said Senator Tim Scott (R- SC), sponsor of the resolution. “The high-quality teaching and innovative approach to education provide a strong foundation for students of all backgrounds. I have long believed what the pandemic confirmed for so many American families: when parents lack school choice, children’s education suffers. I am thankful for the important work charter school teachers, leaders, parents, and advocates continue to do in opening more doors to success for the next generation." </p> <p>The bipartisan resolution was supported by: </p> <ul> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. John Boozman R-AR </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Mike Braun, R-IN </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Thomas Carper, D-DE </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-TN </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY  </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Rick Scott, R-FL </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-AL </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Roger Wicker, R-MS </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Sen. Todd Young, R-IN </li> </ul> <p>Student-centered, tuition-free, and always public, charter schools have changed the American education landscape for the better. The 30th anniversary is a time for the nation to celebrate and highlight the schools, students, education leaders, and advocates who have demonstrated the strength and promise of the charter school movement over the last 30 years.  </p> <p>The National Alliance recently honored 30 exceptional young leaders who are connected in some way to charter schools and are using their ideas, talents, and platforms to advance educational and economic opportunities and promote equality and social justice. The <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/about-charter-schools/charter-school-trailblazers/30-under-30-changemakers-award">30 Under 30 Changemakers Awards</a> shine a spotlight on individuals from across the country who are making a meaningful impact in their community.</p> <p>Here is one of the 30 Under 30 Changemakers from Senator Scott’s home state of South Carolina:</p> <p><strong>Kalan Rogers, 27, Calhoun Falls, S.C.</strong> Kalan graduated from <a href="http://www.cfpcs.org/">Calhoun Falls Charter High School</a> and returned as principal of his alma mater, where he focuses on creating a positive and safe school environment. Under his leadership, CFCS has been recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as a one of the best high schools in the country. Additionally, Kalan coaches cross-country and track and field, drives a morning school bus route, and advocates for his students, parents, and the community. </p> <p>Read more about each <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/about-charter-schools/charter-school-trailblazers/30-under-30-changemakers-award">30 Under 30 Changemaker</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Jennifer Diaz is the vice president of communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/national-charter-schools-week" hreflang="en">National Charter Schools Week</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/26/us-senate-passes-resolution-recognize-americas-charter-schools" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Mon, 24 May 2021 18:33:19 +0000 Melinda 26408 at https://www.publiccharters.org A Silver Lining of the Pandemic Shines in Iowa as Charter School Reform Bill Becomes Law https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/25/silver-lining-pandemic-shines-iowa-charter-school-reform-bill-becomes-law <span>A Silver Lining of the Pandemic Shines in Iowa as Charter School Reform Bill Becomes Law</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/reed" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Reed</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/24/2021 - 15:39</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/russ-simnick" hreflang="en">Russ Simnick</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-05-25T12:00:00Z">May 25, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-05/Blog%20%28250px%29%20%2818%29.png?itok=zbEFRGEK" width="250" height="250" alt="student raising hand " typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Iowa passed a charter school law in 2002. Since then, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has worked to improve the law to ensure more Iowans have the options for an education that meets their learning needs.  </p> <h3><strong>A Strong Legislative Partnership Begins  </strong></h3> <p>In 2017, Mark Jacobs of Reaching Higher Iowa (RHI) contacted the National Alliance to analyze the state’s charter school law (which was ranked <a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/sites/default/files/documents/2021-03/Iowa.pdf">41 out of 45</a> at the time) and make recommendations to improve it. After analyzing the shortcomings and barriers to providing more options for educational opportunities, we wrote a draft bill to improve the law.  </p> <p>Going into the 2018 session, we knew the House Education Chairman, Walt Rogers, was a school choice proponent. Various school choice groups in the state, including RHI and the National Alliance, met with Governor Kim Reynolds. She expressed support for school choice, but it was not a priority issue for her administration that year.  Weeks later, a wide-ranging education choice bill that included charter schools and private school choice was heard in the House Education Committee, but it died due to lack of support.  </p> <p>During the 2019 session, RHI and the National Alliance decided to try again with a stand-alone charter school bill and again we were met with fierce opposition. The National Alliance testified at a courtesy hearing and the bill died.  </p> <h3><strong>Then the World Changed  </strong></h3> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools in spring 2020 in Iowa and across the country. As the months went by, Governor Reynolds heard the frustration of parents struggling to educate their children on full-time virtual platforms. She heard concerns of children falling behind in their education. Reynolds urged schools to return to in-person learning. She faced with massive pushback from the larger school districts in the state. Wanting to provide parents with control over their children’s education, Reynolds prioritized legislation to give parents a host of options, which included charter schools, private school choice, and inter-district transfers.  </p> <h3><strong>Passing the Bill </strong></h3> <p>Reynolds announced her sweeping education reform package in her <a href="https://www.weareiowa.com/video/news/local/local-politics/gov-reynolds-gives-2021-condition-of-the-state-address-full-speech/524-835909df-33b5-4eb7-8471-a460f0d669c6">Condition of the State address</a> in January 2021. The Senate quickly passed her omnibus education bill (SF159). However, it faced difficulty in the House and was broken into several different bills so each subject could stand or fall on its own merits. The new version of the charter school bill was introduced as HF 813. </p> <p>After hours of debate, and after voting down dozens of hostile amendments, the bill passed the House by a vote of 55-40. Since similar language had already passed the Senate, we believed HF 813 would eventually pass there as well. Again, opponents offered dozens of hostile amendments and dragged debate out for hours on the Senate floor. However, the final bill passed 30-18 and was sent to Governor Reynolds for her signature. </p> <h3><strong>A Bright Future for the Hawkeye State </strong></h3> <p>On May 19, Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law at <a href="https://startsrighthere.org/">Starts Right Here</a>, a youth empowerment nonprofit in Des Moines that plans to apply to open a charter school. Iowa now allows charter school founding groups to apply directly to the state, which will set a high bar for opening charter schools to ensure academic rigor and quality and hold the schools accountable for performance-based results. These changes will attract more charter school providers to the state and support the creation of high-quality public charter schools for Iowa families for many years to come. The National Alliance thanks Governor Reynolds, Senator Amy Sinclair, and Representative Skyler Wheeler, among many others, for their work and leadership on this bill. The future is bright for Iowa’s kids and families. </p> <p> </p> <p><em>Russ Simnick is the senior director of state advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/state-policy" hreflang="en">state policy</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/25/silver-lining-pandemic-shines-iowa-charter-school-reform-bill-becomes-law" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Mon, 24 May 2021 19:39:12 +0000 Reed 26387 at https://www.publiccharters.org 6 Charter School Students Honored as 2021 Presidential Scholars https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/19/6-charter-school-students-honored-2021-presidential-scholars <span>6 Charter School Students Honored as 2021 Presidential Scholars </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Thu, 05/20/2021 - 15:24</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/fiona-sheridan-mciver" hreflang="en">Fiona Sheridan-McIver</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-05-19T12:00:00Z">May 19, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-05/Cap%20and%20Diploma%20%281%29.png?itok=-3-u5JOd" width="250" height="250" alt="Cap and Diploma" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Six charter school students were among 161 high school seniors honored as <a href="https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-announces-161-students-across-country-2021-us-presidential-scholars">2021 Presidential Scholars</a> for their exceptional accomplishments in academics, the arts, or career and technical education. During a profoundly challenging year, these young people have demonstrated an inspiring commitment to excellence.  </p> <p>Congratulations to all the charter school students in the 2021 class of Presidential Scholars and the exemplary charter schools that serve them: </p> <ul> <li><strong>Viraj Mehta</strong> (Scottsdale, AZ) - <a href="https://www.basised.com/scottsdale/">BASIS Scottsdale</a></li> <li><strong>Rohan P Kanchana</strong> (Hockessin, DE) - <a href="https://www.newarkcharterschool.org/">Newark Charter Junior/Senior High School</a>, U.S Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education </li> <li><strong>Divita Taduvayi</strong> (Bear, DE) - <a href="https://motcharter.com/">MOT Charter High School</a>, U.S Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education </li> <li><strong>Caroline Curran</strong> (Pocasset, MA) - <a href="https://www.sturgischarterschool.com/">Sturgis Charter Public School</a></li> <li><strong>Pratyush Seshadri</strong> (Cary, NC) - <a href="https://www.raleighcharterhs.org/">Raleigh Charter High School</a> </li> <li><strong>Dallin Tyler Christensen</strong> (Pleasant View, UT) - <a href="https://www.lautah.org/">Leadership Academy of Utah</a> </li> </ul> <p>Of the 3.6 million graduating seniors this year, more than 6,000 students were eligible, and 625 students were selected as semifinalists. Eligibility for this prestigious honor is based on outstanding performance on the SAT or ACT, or via nomination by the National YoungArts Foundation or the Chief State School Officer of their states. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects the final class of Presidential Scholars through a rigorous evaluation of each student’s academic achievement, artistic or technical distinction, personal essay, community service, and demonstrated leadership.  </p> <p>Congratulations to these inspiring charter school students! </p> <p> </p> <p><em>Fiona Sheridan-McIver is the senior manager of policy and government relations at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/student-performance" hreflang="en">student performance</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/19/6-charter-school-students-honored-2021-presidential-scholars" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Thu, 20 May 2021 19:24:47 +0000 Melinda 26358 at https://www.publiccharters.org A Recap of National Charter Schools Week 2021 https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/14/recap-national-charter-schools-week-2021 <span>A Recap of National Charter Schools Week 2021</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Thu, 05/27/2021 - 09:01</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/melinda-tolliver" hreflang="en">Melinda Tolliver</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-05-14T12:00:00Z">May 14, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-05/National%20Charter%20Schools%20Week%202021%20Logos.png?itok=4k9X-m53" width="250" height="250" alt="National Charter Schools Week 2021 Logos" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The National Charter Schools Week 2021: 30 Year Strong celebration took place May 9-15, 2021. This year's celebration was an exciting one as it is the 30th anniversary of the first charter school law, which changed the future of public education and student success forever.</p> <p>Take a look back on the celebration of 30 Years Strong! </p> <h3>Monday - Announced the 30 Under 30 Changemakers</h3> <p>As part of the 30 Years Strong celebration, we recognize 30 Under 30 Changemakers. 30 young people in the charter school community who have an outsized impact in their communities, our nation, and the world in Arts, Writing, and Sports, Education and Politics, Leadership, Science, and Social Justice.</p> <p>Changemakers like Darnella Frazier, 18, a student at Augsburg Fairview Academy in Minnesota whose video of George Floyd’s murder drove a wave of activism for racial justice across the country. Or Davian Morgan, 29, who started his teaching career as a 1st grade teacher through Teach For America at the same charter school he now helps lead.</p> <p>Watch the video below for profiles on all the 30 Under 30 Changemakers.</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/embWNRv34Go" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe></p> <h3>Tuesday - Recognized 30 Years Strong of Charter Schools</h3> <p>In recognition of the 30th anniversary, we reflected on the milestones since the first law was passed in Minnesota in 1991. From the first charter school to serving 3M students to leading the way during the pandemic, charter schools have accomplished much in the past 30 years. </p> <p>Watch our video for a look back on how far we've come:</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cIAcIKv7HZU" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe></p> <h3>Wednesday - Honored the 30 Under 30 Changemakers</h3> <p>There’s a lot to be excited about during National Charter Schools Week 2021, but we were most excited to honor our 30 Under 30 Changemakers from the charter school community!</p> <p>The virtual awards ceremony featured interviews with several awardees, including Mari Copeny, 13, a student at Woodland Park Academy known as "Little Miss Flint," and Kalan Rogers, 27, a graduate of Calhoun Falls Charter High School who is now in his third year as principal of his alma mater</p> <p>Watch the full awards ceremony to learn more about the awardees:</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nSVX_5yPcyY" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe></p> <h3>Thursday - Elevated Student Voices</h3> <p>Students from across the country reached out to their congressional representatives (via their teachers) to share what they love about their charter school. And why it’s important to continue to support the growth and expansion of more charter schools through programs like the Charter Schools Program.</p> <h3>Friday - Shared the #CharterLove</h3> <p>With this year’s celebration, we loved seeing all the #CharterSchoolsWeek content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The week was celebrated by schools, our 30 Under 30 Changemakers, federal and state elected officials, and state organizations.</p> <p>Take a look at the 2021 celebration video:</p> <p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-97TUh8Ta6s" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> </p> <p>The celebration wouldn’t be the same without the students, families, teachers, leaders, and advocates who are changemakers in public education. We hope you will continue joining us in this important work beyond National Charter Schools Week!</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Melinda Tolliver is the senior manager of digital strategy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/14/recap-national-charter-schools-week-2021" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Thu, 27 May 2021 13:01:19 +0000 Melinda 26453 at https://www.publiccharters.org An Unlikely Bill Strengthens Wyoming's Charter School Law https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/07/unlikely-bill-strengthens-wyomings-charter-school-law <span>An Unlikely Bill Strengthens Wyoming&#039;s Charter School Law</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Fri, 05/07/2021 - 11:11</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/russ-simnick" hreflang="en">Russ Simnick</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-05-07T12:00:00Z">May 7, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-05/Wyoming%20Charter%20School%20Law%20Blog%20Post%20%281%29.png?itok=L_7xzKGH" width="250" height="250" alt="Wyoming Charter School Law Blog Post (1)" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>Each year, we survey the states to see where we can expect charter school legislation to be introduced and if it will be helpful or harmful to charter schools and students in the state. Most years it's easy to predict which states will be active and what types of legislation will be introduced, but we still conduct this due diligence on every state—even if we think it's unlikely charter schools will come up. For example: Wyoming.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Wyoming first passed its charter school law in 1995. It is ranked near the bottom on the National Alliance’s State Rankings Report (#41 out of 44). In 26 years, no meaningful improvements have been made to the law. That is why Wyoming has five charter schools serving fewer than 600 students. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>At the time we were conducting our due diligence in Wyoming, we received a call that changed everything. Former Wyoming House Speaker Russ Donley had reached out to a high-quality national network of charter schools hoping to interest them in opening schools in the state. They informed him that they could not open in Wyoming because of its weak law and directed him to us.</span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>How a charter school bill became law in Wyoming</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>In the months that followed, we worked with Speaker Donley to recommend changes to dramatically improve the law. These suggested changes were turned into a bill draft and through a series of meetings, Donley convinced key senators to support that bill draft. By the start of session, a sponsor agreed to shepherd the bill through the process and enough Senate Education Committee members were supportive. Unbelievably, the bill passed the Senate in the first week of session. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>However, the deck was stacked against the bill in the House. Not only was the current Speaker not supportive, neither were the powerful House Appropriations Committee Chair or the House Majority Leader. The bill came to the House floor as a shell of what passed the Senate. The watered-down bill passed the House where the Senate disagreed with the changes, and the bill was sent to a conference committee to negotiate. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The coalition, now expanded from just Speaker Donley and the National Alliance to include statewide organizations and the state superintendent of education, worked to get support for the Senate version of the bill in the conference committee. That forced the House conferees, initially unmovable, to restore much of the strong Senate language. The bill passed on the final night of session—but there was one more hurdle. The Governor almost vetoed the bill. Reluctantly, he allowed the bill to pass into law without his signature. </span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span>Major improvements in Wyoming's new charter school bill</span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>This law makes huge strides towards providing more educational opportunities for Wyoming's public school students by promoting growth while increasing accountability and allowing charter schools' autonomy to innovate and meet the needs of the families in their communities. </span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span>Local groups and high performing networks now have multiple pathways to become authorized charter schools.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>The charter application and contract must include specific, rigorous requirements to ensure high-quality applicants and schools. Further, schools will be held accountable for performance-based academic results.</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>If needed, the state board of education can waive public charter schools from state statutory requirements or rules put into effect by the state board. </span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span>Unfortunately, in addition to many of the positive changes, the new law has an initial cap on the number of new charter schools that can be approved by the state (three) until the state superintendent of education reports on the effectiveness of charter schools to the Legislature and the Legislature votes to remove the cap. We anticipate that the state's strong law will ensure three high-quality charter schools will open in Wyoming and the state superintendent will be able to share that positive report. </span></span></span></p> <h3>What's next for Wyoming's charter school movement?</h3> <p><span><span><span>It is now up to Wyoming’s charter school supporters, with the assistance of the National Alliance, to educate the public and potential charter school founders to open high quality public charter schools in the state so we can show the need and demand to lift the cap. With the strong political winds against it, the bill faced a serious uphill battle to passage. However, through effective advocacy, Wyoming families and educators will soon have access to more quality public schooling opportunities.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><em>Russ Simnick is the senior director of state advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/state-policy" hreflang="en">state policy</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/07/unlikely-bill-strengthens-wyomings-charter-school-law" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Fri, 07 May 2021 15:11:40 +0000 Melinda 26149 at https://www.publiccharters.org The American Families Plan: Shaping the Future of Public Education https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/04/american-families-plan-shaping-future-public-education <span>The American Families Plan: Shaping the Future of Public Education</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/04/2021 - 12:53</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/staff/jennifer-diaz" hreflang="en">Jennifer Diaz</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-05-04T12:00:00Z">May 4, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-05/Student%20and%20parent%20at%20computer%20stock%20image.png?itok=K7UlJdfF" width="250" height="250" alt="Student and parent at computer stock image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>As the nation slowly and safely navigates out of the pandemic, the focus remains on helping American families recoup what was lost during the last 14 months—and spurring prosperity and success. Education must be a top priority to fulfill this promise as our leaders in federal, state, and local governments make important decisions that affect our students’ futures.  </span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><strong><span>The American Families Plan and Education</span></strong></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden laid out his vision for the country. The proposed $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, along with the American Jobs Plan, proposes dramatic investments in social programs including:</span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span>Expanded public education to include two years of pre-K and community college</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>An increase in the maximum Pell grant</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>Increased support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs)</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>Childcare subsidies and expanded school meal programs</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>Teacher preparation</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>A new paid leave plan</span></span></span></li> </ul> <h3><span><span><strong><span>Charter Schools Lead the Way </span></strong></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span>It would be easy to pour money into systems and structures that haven’t worked for many students. Instead, we must encourage leaders to lift programs, schools, and teachers that put students and their learning needs first. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Student-centered public charter schools are one of the solutions. Nina Rees, president &amp; CEO of the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, says of charter schools, “They have the ability to inspire and serve students with varying needs, interests, and aspirations. They encourage parents and communities to take greater ownership of their children's education.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>So’Nya Jordan is a 2020 graduate of LEAD Charter School in Newark, New Jersey. She was bullied and harassed at her traditional public high school. She felt alone and lost. So’Nya found support and a second chance at LEAD. She says, “Every student deserves a school community that wants to see them succeed. A place that supports your mental health, your social-emotional health and gives you the tools you need to be the best version of yourself.” Read her powerful story of hope, opportunity and success through adversity in </span><a href="https://www.the74million.org/article/im-more-than-my-mistakes-finding-a-second-chance-at-new-jerseys-only-alternative-charter-high-school/?utm_medium=email&amp;_hsmi=123956987&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz--sX_uFLXWcqtxpfvMV7SMyvCi3uhh0l81UqnxgbQm1apgoVeCtJOIOiQYpQEwM5dp-_QB6kv1hfVg7NI7jhzPDb4R0uQ&amp;utm_content=123956987&amp;utm_source=hs_email"><span>The 74</span></a><span>. </span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><span><strong>Celebrate Charter Schools' Contributions</strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span>Join us as we showcase charter schools’ contributions to the future of public education during </span></span><span><span><a href="https://www.publiccharters.org/what-you-can-do/celebrate-national-charter-schools-week"><span>National Charter Schools Week 2021</span></a></span></span><span><span>, May 9-15. Use the social toolkit and turnkey press materials to spread </span></span><span><span>the word about the 30th anniversary of charter schools in America and how our community is shaping the future of public education.</span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><em>Jennifer Diaz is the vice president of communications at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools</em></span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/national-charter-schools-week" hreflang="en">National Charter Schools Week</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/federal-funding" hreflang="en">federal funding</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/federal-budget" hreflang="en">federal budget</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/04/american-families-plan-shaping-future-public-education" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Tue, 04 May 2021 16:53:00 +0000 Melinda 26096 at https://www.publiccharters.org 5 Charter Schools Recognized as 2021 Green Ribbon Schools https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/03/5-charter-schools-recognized-2021-green-ribbon-schools <span>5 Charter Schools Recognized as 2021 Green Ribbon Schools</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/melinda" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Melinda</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/03/2021 - 09:56</span> <div class="uppercase field field--name-field-news-item-types field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/latest-news/category/blog" hreflang="en">Blog</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-author-bio field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about-us/yueting-cynthia-xu" hreflang="en">Yueting (Cynthia) Xu</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-pub-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field--item"><time datetime="2021-05-03T12:00:00Z">May 3, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-image-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-display"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/2021-05/Child%20Gardening%20%281%29.png?itok=vrcr5ORu" width="250" height="250" alt="Child gardening - stock image for blog post on charter school 2021 Green Ribbon Schools" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> </article> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award is a federal recognition for schools that have done an excellent job in reducing environmental waste, creating a healthy environment focused on students and staff wellness, and offering effective education on environmental protection and sustainability. This year, the Department selected 27 honorees as 2021 Green Ribbon Schools, including five charter schools.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Here are some highlights for the five charter schools honored as 2021 Green Ribbon Schools:</span></span></span></p> <h3>1. D.C. Bilingual Public Charter School (Washington, D.C.) </h3> <p><span><span><span>DC Bilingual Public Charter School, founded in 2004, offers an immersive bilingual learning environment to all 478 in both English and Spanish to students from PK-3 to 5th grade. After they moved to a new location in 2016, DC Bilingual completed multiple significant renovation projects on the school building and earned a LEED Gold rating. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The school established a department of food and wellness to manage culinary and gardening education and ensure the sustainability of school operation. In 2017, the school’s 7,000-square-foot garden won the Office of the State Superintendent of Education School Garden Award. Culinary and Gardening Education classes and DC Bilingual’s afterschool program provides students with valuable chances to engage in environmental protection activities and raise their awareness of sustainability. </span></span></span></p> <h3>2. Discovery Charter School (Indiana) </h3> <p><span><span><span>Discovery Charter School is a Title I charter school in Porter, Indiana, serving 475 students from K-8th grade. Discovery offers place-based education which strengthens students’ engagement with the local community and environment. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Located next to the Indiana Dunes National Park, Discovery incorporates many outdoor activities and hands-on learning projects into the curriculum. By taking an active role in the interdisciplinary projects and the local environment, students learn to become the stewards of their local community. Discovery demonstrates its dedication to caring for the sustainability of the environment through adopting culture-of-care and sustainability policies and engaging the whole school community to model sustainability. </span></span></span></p> <h3>3. Paramount Brookside School (Indiana) </h3> <p>Paramount Brookside School is a K-8 charter school serving 837 students. Paramount Brookside received the Thriving Schools Challenge Masters Certificate from the City of Indianapolis’ Office of Sustainability for efforts to revitalize the neighborhood and build a model of urban sustainability.</p> <p><span><span><span>In addition to their energy-saving school building, the school has a working farm on its 5.5-acre site. The school’s extensive environment learning program, Success Through Education Agriculture and Mentoring, offers students the chance to connect the theories with practical activities as well as a summer employment opportunity. Through extracurricular farm activities, recycling, and gardening clubs, Paramount Brookside establishes students’ sense of civic engagement and urban sustainability.</span></span></span></p> <h3>4. New Roots Charter School (New York) </h3> <p><span><span><span>New Roots Charter School was authorized by the State University of New York in 2008, serving a diverse student population in grades 9-12. Because of its integration of civics studies and green technology into the interdisciplinary curriculum, New Roots won Green Schools National Network’s Best of Green Schools Award in 2019. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>New Roots incorporates a wide range of outdoor activities for each grade of students. For example, senior students at New Roots participate in self-designed capstone projects in which they address issues related to local environmental sustainability. The student-initiated Cayuga Wetlands Project was awarded a four-year grant to establish a Youth Ecological Restoration Corps with the goal of studying how the local wetlands contribute to Cayuga Lake’s ecosystem. </span></span></span></p> <h3>5. Commonwealth Charter Academy (Pennsylvania) </h3> <p><span><span><span>Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) is a cyber charter school serving 19,000 students from K-12th grades across Pennsylvania. As a cyber school, CCA addresses sustainability through daily operation practices: no daily bus commute and significantly reduced paper waste since students submit their assignments through an online learning management system are two of the most notable. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>One of CCA’s Works Center, AgWorks, is the largest K-12 school-based aquaponic facility in the country. AgWorks grows fresh produce and raises fish and is 100% powered by solar panels. At AgWorks, students can participate both virtually and in-person to learn about clean energy and ways to reduce energy waste. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>                                           </span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Congratulations to all the <a href="https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-green-ribbon-schools-announced-2"><strong>2021 Green Ribbon Schools</strong></a>! </span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><em>Yueting (Cynthia) Xu is the coordinator of data and research at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.</em></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/us-department-education" hreflang="en">U.S. Department of Education</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Comments</h2> <div class="fb-comments" data-href="https://www.publiccharters.org/latest-news/2021/05/03/5-charter-schools-recognized-2021-green-ribbon-schools" data-width="100%" data-numposts="5"></div> </section> Mon, 03 May 2021 13:56:34 +0000 Melinda 26056 at https://www.publiccharters.org